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Jun 10, 2010


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parents - pay up what you were willing to pay for her rescue just before she was found.

Chris Andrews

I’d like to suggest two internationally recognised awards for solo sailing:

The Abby Sunderland Award:

For the first person, of any age, sex, or race to sail around the world single handed after depositing a rescue bond of one million dollars (CPI indexed) to cover the potential cost of their self-indulgence and pointless self-aggrandisement.

The Tony Bullimore Award:

For the first person, of any age, sex, or race to sail around the world single handed without a HF or VHF radio, satellite phone or any other form of communication; an EPIRB or any other form of radio beacon; or a GPS. A ‘V’ sheet and semaphore light should be allowed.

(This way, if they don’t turn up at the end of the journey no one will have the slightest idea where they are and will not have to go looking for them.)

Pierre F. Lherisson

This young lady has embarked herself in a foolish and dangerous adventure that will not benefit mankind because all the basic navigational problems had been solved long time ago.
Her efforts would have been worthwhile if she decided to tackle one of the following problems: The Riemann hypothesis, the Yang-Mills existence and mass gap, the cosmic inflation, dark matter, dark energy, space roar, pulsar time dilatation, the Taos hum, synaptic plasticity, how do senses become perception? What is really causing the recent climate change? What are the chemical origin of life?. The protein folding problem. How much can the mind influence matter? Is a priori knowledge possible? Is there a way to stop aging? Are there actually ways of predicting earthquakes? Sex differences in cognitive behavior to name a few.
I feel that the child welfare Office should sanction her parents for lack of judgment and for putting her at risk with natural forces as well to human predators at the sea.

Bob the Cynic

"I bravely sailed around the world at age 16!!!"***

*** Taxpayers paid for my rescue. I get all the glory though. Haha. By the way, how do you spell "responsibility"?


I have a freakish dream to fly like superman, but that doesn’t mean that I am going go jump off a cliff and attempt to spread my “wings” and fly. That would be a suicide mission! If I were to mention my dream to my parents no matter what age I am, they would probably say something like “ Umm, I don’t think so sweetheart.” I would respect my parent’s decision to not go with that dream because they value my life more then a “potential” accomplishment. While it is of human nature to dream and forecast future accomplishments, it is also critical for parents to step up to the plate and encourage those “dreams” that are viable. To sail around the globe alone is not a practical dream. In fact, a dream like this without extensive experience can become a nightmare instantaneously. Extensive experience is not acquired from simulated situations; it is built from travelling down the same path many times with guidance until the act can be mastered. Its like saying you need a heart transplant, would you want a surgeon who is a master at doing heart transplants or a student in the process of becoming a surgeon. Furthermore, traits such as independence, intelligence and dedication are not created from completing dreams of this nature. These traits are obtained through education, parents and valuing life. To put your life at a risk without experience is not valuing life or using your skills in an intelligent manner. If a child is making the decision to risk their life for a goal, then the parents should immediately intervene to prevent the child if they feel the goal would be threat to their life. Since Abby is a minor, I am unfortunate to say that my analysis of this so-called venture leads me to believe that this is a publicity stunt and the parents of this child should be responsible for paying for the resources utilized to find Abby. If Abby were 18 then it would be her responsibility to pay for those resources. Lastly, if “children” are able to make their own independent decisions that revolve around the safety of their life, then what role do parents serve? Then 18 would just be another age and you wouldn’t need parents then would you…

Metro Cap

I would like to see the parents be billed for the entire rescue operations. What a waste of resource to send an empty A330 on a 10 hours trip to search for some stupid girl. A flight like this cost at least 100k easily. We have people that are dying in other parts of the world due to hunger and diseases yet no one seems to care. Imagine if we put this amount of money toward feeding the hungry and the poor in other part of the worlds. That money would be well spent and might be even put back into the economy when these people are well off and contributing back to their economy. People must understand that this is not accident that calls for a rescue operations. This was a publicity stunt that went wrong and beyond the control of Abby's not so smart parents.



I'm sorry that what I said made you so angry.
Perhaps I was too open about my feelings on heroism :)
It's OK..It's just an opinion :)
I guess.. I've just changed my mind, as I've grown up (though I am still very young and I could change my mind again), about what I think is a heroic endeavor or truly admirable action. I think its about helping others...even in small, mundane, unglamorous ways.

I guess... I feel like Abby was sort of on a needlessly risky vanity mission (you know, when people want to be, against all odds, the X-est Y to do Z)that turned out to be very expensive and distracting for others. One that I sort of feel...expected by others to admire. That's not to say that I don't like adventurers or that I condone sitting at home doing nothing all day as a way of life. It's important to have a healthy, active lifestyle, while of course, making considerate personal choices.

I love my country because it loves freedom. But we do live in a 'society', and that means that while we can do risky things for the sake of personal development, it is also good to always stop to think about whether we are being considerate of others :)

I went to sleep thinking about Abby adrift in the ocean alone, and it made me feel horrible. I was so happy to hear that they found her.

Capt. Suz Wallace

thanks Christi~ I knew she would be found, that boat has 5 air-tight compartments...dismasting is something that happens to even the best, veteran sailors!!
I hope she fares well on the fishing boat, as a young girl, I fear more for her around men than I do the whole Indian Ocean and all the weather. But even more excited that she will sail again...because that's what strong-willed independent sailors do!!

the dud

So, now they know she's still alive. I believe I can now throw the publicity stunt flag on this one. Let's see, she'll get back home, wite the obligatory book, do Oprah, made for TV movie, Cha-ching. And people are just dumb enough to go along with this. There is a fine line between following one's "dreams" and a calculated stunt to capitalize on a failed adventure by getting your mug on the 24/7 news channels. Balloon Boy anyone?

Remember the young girl several years ago who was lauded for "following her dream" by piloting a plane while less than 10 years old? We'll, she followed her dream right into the ground when she crashed her plane shorty thereafter. I admire the tenacity, but shake my head at the irresponsibility and over-indulgence of parents these days. Use some smarts people, they're children!


sleepless in life stop overreacting you obviously have issues. Youre not the blog police so stfu and stop being a spaz. You freak out over the smallest things. Get a hold of your self you come off like a complete idiot without value.


An Australia airplane has found her she is alive and doing well a ship is being sent to pick her up!


My concern has been one of strength. I don't mean personal perseverance, that is intact. It is handling this boat in high seas and strong winds and maybe beating rain for hours on end. I hope the storm has subsided for her and that she can be easily plucked from a sea that is not raging. I've been out there in the middle of the ocean and the power of water and wind is pretty unbelievable, even on a mild day.

T. Werner

God bless you Abby - may our Lord protect you, your parents sure did'nt. If she is hurt or worse, dead, I dont know how the parents can live with the fact they let this happen. Common sense tells and common law tells us that a sixteen year old child should not be allowed to take on such a dangerous task. Would you give your child alcohol, cigarettes or drugs if they asked for them and said they would be careful?


As I continue to read these posts..follow behind her in a boat??? ARe you stupid? Gawd. What an idiot.
Do you have any idea of what these things cost? Her parents aren't paying for this - can you read? Do you care to read and find out what's REALLY gone on or is flapping your trap more important? Don't answer that. I know the answer.

You people are truly pathetic. Seriously. Those who say they'll make sure their 18 year olds are safe at home for their 18th birthday - you know what? YOu're kids probably the one with a trunk full of beer.

Stupid stupid people. Think before you speak or type. READ. READ her blog. Read her motives. Read her objectives. Read about her family. THEN comment. Honestly what a bunch of fools

Christi Grab

My husband and I circumnavigated the globe last year on a boat, so I feel qualified to respond to several of the comments. First of all, Capt Suz Wallace is right that kids raised cruising are more mature than the average kid is here in the States, generally with better judgment. They are truly a different breed. My husband and I are hoping to have a baby and raise it cruising because we want our child to be an amazing boat kid.

HOWEVER, it was a VERY BAD judgment to go into the Indian Ocean this time of the year, both on her part and her parents part (and for that matter, the sponsors' parts). They should have known exactly how dangerous it was and had her wait for the proper weather window. There is NO EXCUSE OR JUSTIFICATION for being where she was. She didn't just risk her life -- she is risking the rescue crews' lives, as well. Obviously, my husband and I believe in pursuing our dreams and living outside the box, but you have to be smart about it and not take unnecessary risks.

As to St. Subversive's comments about piracy: Piracy is VERY RARE for small boats. Pirates are looking for big money and want big ships. Statistically speaking, it is far more dangerous to drive your car to the grocery store on the corner than it is to take a small boat through Somalia. The media overly hypes the very few cases that occur, grossly blowing the problem out of proportion (big ship piracy is on the rise, though).


Unbelieveable how nasty so many of you are. If you can't say something nice ... or, if you don't have experience in this area ... why don't you keep your trap shut!?! Or is that impossible for you that love to comment on others lives instead of living your own.

Yeah right Tanya! What you're talking about has nothing to do with Abby's challenge. What a judgemental fool you are. And you know what? You wouldn't do very well in foreign countries because you have no sense of adventure. In fact I'm not sure you have any sense at all! You practically write a book about YOURSELF - you, who have done NOTHING.

This trip was Abby's dream. Her parents tried to get her to wait but she couldn't wait. She's had hours and hours of experience, much of it in terrible weather. This has happened before and people are rescued which is my sincere hope for Abby.

Hang in there Abby. Help is on the way. You are a brave girl and followed your dream. Not many can say that. Probably no one here could honest live theirs. Godspeed...


15 Minutes of fame at what cost? Let us all pray the Australian coastguard arrives in time. If not, then at least the parents can still profit from sombre and greiving media interviews.
The lesson might be that if children at 16 are deemed too immature to drive a car then perhaps its not particularly wise to gamble their lives simply for fame and profit.
However it all seems quite irrelevant whether the adventurer is 13 or 31 years old. Whether its circum-navigating the globe by sailboat or even climbing Mount Everest. With all the high tek equipment that is now available, success is no longer dependant on personal skill or courage but simply the luck of good weather.
God will decide her fate.

Captain crunch

"Sailors who know the Southern Ocean knew this wasn't the time"

My Sentiment exactly. To be in the Southern oceans at this time of the year in a craft like that is to seek a Bloody good hiding. Extreme low pressures are hurled Northwards out of the antarctic at the rate of about 2 -5 a week. Great Time to be down there dont ya think.....!!!
Who was responsible for this planning.?? Why was it not done in the Southern hemisphere's summer???...Oh sorry I forgot the "Chi..ching"..!!! of the Book deal $$ was probably too loud and distracting , and all you could see was the record.

Plain stupidity if you ask anyone who works in these oceans Down here...


There should be more parents who encourage their children to have a dream and to reach for it. But how can they in a culture obsessed with comfort and safety? The preparation was done, the support systems set up and she stepped outside to strive for something more. She had a goal, and she was determined enough to reach for it or die trying. That's laudable, and if more of us were filled with that kind of spirit, there would be fewer self-righteous, hypocritical, lying, cheating, stealing, moribund morons cluttering up the world. We'd all be out there achieving more than we thought we could!! Good on yer, Abbie, I hope you come through!!


I had not known about Abby until I heard the news on the radio today.

First of all, I would like to say that my thoughts are with her, and that I deeply regret that she is alone and in mortal danger, if not dead already, at such a tender age. This is terrible, and I hope it turns out well in the end.

I also agree that it should never have been allowed to happen.

I understand the human need for adventure. I share it. I'm a 23 year old young woman and I hope to one day have the chance to 'see the world' and to challenge myself. However, there are ways to fulfill these needs that are safe, relatively inexpensive, and not endangering or unfair to others.I

I also understand how feverishly a young person can dream of fame and recognition. Her name on a logo and in the papers, all over the internet through her blog. We're talking about basic human psychological needs. However, one can take their fulfillment much too far.

In some ways, her adventure is 'inspiring' and 'heroic', as many have called it. She *is* trying to do a great thing. However, it is also a vanity mission: solo circumnavigation has been 'done before'. Someone doing it again, at a younger age, will not do anything to practically help others, or to really make this world a better place.

If a young person wants to make a mark on the world, I suggest volunteering for a literacy program or becoming a nurse, social worker, or public servant. I'm serious.

When I was at school (grade three or four) we learned about role models. We heard about them a lot; we had to write essays about them. That sort of thing. They were usually athletes: in most cases, people who dedicated everything to run a split second faster, or jump a fraction of an inch higher, than the next worthy person. Now this may be a shocking, unpolitical thing to say, but I think that's a bit weak. Now that I'm older and have formed my own opinions, I have chosen to reserve my admiration for people who are truly 'prosocial'. Everyday people who work for the common good, be they parents, teachers, health care workers, social workers, firefighters, and police officers, or community volunteers.

They are my heroes; NOT the adventurers and sportsmen heralded to me in elementary school. I don't think that getting a boat around the world a few months younger than the last girl is really, at the end of the day, all that *great*. Sure, it's challenging and difficult, but think of the risks. She could be hurt. Other people could be hurt trying to help her. If she had not gone on this silly vanity trip, those millions of dollars in rescue operations could have been used to address other issues.

And I'm sorry to sound so cynical, but if it's supposed to be a 'solo' trip, why does she have a support team and why doesn't she help her self when she is alone? I guess it's because she isn't really doing it solo, and she doesn't really have the skill/experience to manage it on her own. She says that she has been sailing her whole life, but heck, she's only 16, so what's that, ten years since her brain acquired formal operations?

I'm sorry to say that I don't support her efforts, but it is true and I cannot pretend otherwise. I realize that this sounds very negative, but I think that what she did was selfish. I hope that they find her and that she returns safe, but I also hope that one day, she will think about what her actions can cost herself and others, and that she will be able to find fulfillment in helping others rather than in getting her own name on a record book.

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People who have no knowledge in this field have no business commenting on it. Just like we should only let people vote for president if they can pass a simple iq or reading/writing test. People who blame the parents in this situation are way off base, and as stated above probably coddling and raising more kids who will be dependant on thier parents and society later in life.

How about applauding these parents who raised an amazing-stable, mature and intelligent girl who can stand on her own and is willing to risk everything at such a young age. Remember when parents used to instill values in kids...when America was a great, prosperous country? Novel idea-huh...

Good luck Abby-some of us appreciate your efforts more than you know.

Saint Subversive

So I suppose these rocket scientist parents never considered the fact that they were sending their underage daughter into an area of the world infamous for its latter day piracy problems? Considering that she was "blogging" her position constantly to the world at large, it wouldnt be at all difficult for pirates to find her. A young nubile girl driving a yacht solo with millions of dollars worth of equipment on it, nahhh why would that attract the attention of pirates? Shame on you ignorant people who enable this sort of stupidity with your BS excuses. Stop praying for her, and start praying for God to give you a clue.

the dud

Do I smell a publicity stunt here? Hmmmmmm.

Lets see if she turns up alive and then does a book tour.

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